Tigers Men's 1sts have served up some great entertainment for their fans this season, and this was another match which had the large crowd guessing right until the end. After two close defeats last week, the side was clearly determined not to let another game slip through their fingers, but against a very physical London Mets side they were made to fight all the way.
You can watch the full game video here or View it on Vimeo. The match report continues below.
Tigers got off to a great start as Joe Andrews hit 8 early points including two 3 points efforts. With an 11 – 5 lead opening up, everything looked set fair, but that proved to be the biggest lead Taunton held all evening. Mets began to find success inside and pulled the score back to 20 – 19 at the first break.
In the second quarter, with the help of a number of offensive rebounds, London edged ahead and threatened to pull away. Fortunately, Tigers' big men, Chris Page and Adam Rickwood were giving the visitors plenty to think about, and Page seemed to pull the momentum back Taunton's way with a huge buzzer-beating 3 pointer to level the match 36 – 36 at the half.
There was no doubt, though, who came out stronger for the second half, as the Mets launched into an opening 0 – 8 run. It took nearly 5 minutes before Paul Yabsley scored Taunton's first points of the 3rd quarter. Yabsley also began to lead a strong defensive effort which laid the foundations for a comeback. Scores from Jordan Seeley (making his first appearance of the season), Andrews, Tim Clifford, and new-signing Simon "Spud" Kearney reduced the deficit to just 2 points. The always lively Seeley then stole the ball and raced away to end the period with a lay-up which rounded off a 9 – 0 Taunton run.
The fourth quarter started all square at 50 points apiece and the lead was to change hands five more times before this one was done. Play became frantic at times as the visitors started to put full-court pressure on Taunton's possession, but their increased intensity also put them in foul-trouble which allowed the home side to score 10 precious points from the line. Inside the final 10 seconds Tigers were leading 75 – 73. Kearney missed two free-throws but, typifying the character his side showed on the night, grabbed the crucial rebound, drew another foul and capped a fine debut with the final point of the game.